13 December 2021
A total of 50 recommendations have been made as part of an independent review to make Jersey’s education system more inclusive.
The Independent Review of Inclusive Education and Early Years was commissioned as part of the Government of Jersey’s commitment to ‘putting children first’. It was carried out by nasen – National Association for Special Educational Needs (SEND) – the leading membership charity that exists to champion, connect and support those working with, and for, children and young people with SEND and learning differences.
The review recommends a shift in culture to meet the educational needs of all children and young people, including updating legislation and policies to be more in line with Government aspiration, providing more transparent data, and challenging the selective and separate nature of schooling in Jersey.
Other recommendations include enhancing longer-term strategies for mental health and wellbeing, more training for education professionals, and widening educational provision to include young people up to the age of 25.
The Minister for Children and Education, Deputy Scott Wickenden, said: “The Government is actively seeking to ensure that its education system is working towards being among the best in the world. At a time when the pandemic has highlighted the need for equality, it is clear that prioritising inclusion has never been more important.
“I acknowledge there are challenges in creating a more inclusive education system, but we are committed to ensuring that opportunities are available for all children and young people to learn, progress and prosper both academically and socially.”
Professor Philip Garner, Project Lead for nasen, said: “We recognise that inclusion is a journey and came to this review understanding that there was already some good practice taking place in Jersey. This report can act as a catalyst so that this work can be extended, enabling Jersey to be close to the cutting edge of international best practice.
“Our report on inclusive education resulted from an inclusive approach. We benefited greatly from engagement with teachers, parents, carers and children and young people as well as many organisations and professional groups. The report and recommendations reflect a community approach moving forward.”
The Independent Review of Inclusive Education is available online, along with translations in Portuguese, Polish and Romanian and a summary of the key findings.
The independent review team spoke to education professionals, parents, children, statutory providers of education, organisations or groups and individual stakeholders, which included GoJ officials, politicians, professional associations, unions, education community groups and those involved in social care.